MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the United States will have to offer North Korea solid security guarantees if it wants to strike a denuclearization deal.
Putin, speaking in an interview with a Chinese state broadcaster aired Wednesday, said he hopes that next week's meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will bring positive results.
He hailed the "unprecedented" steps by the North, including the suspension of nuclear and missile tests and the demolition of its nuclear test site, as important shows of goodwill.
The Russian leader also praised Trump for a "courageous and mature" decision to meet with Kim, but noted that Pyongyang would want "absolute security guarantees" to abandon its nuclear bid.
"It can't be otherwise, particularly after the tragic events in Libya and Iraq," Putin said. "The North Koreans see them standing before their eyes, so they would naturally demand some guarantees."
He voiced regret that the U.S. and South Korea failed to stop their military maneuvers.
Putin said Russia's offer to develop joint railway and gas pipeline projects involving both Koreas would help stability in the region.